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First Way Your Company Fights Your Claim



How the Company Fights Your Case: Controlling Your Medical Treatment

0:07 Hello.  In this video, I want to talk about the main way that your company is going to fight your maritime injury case right after it happens.  This is the first thing that they do and it’s so subtle most people don’t even recognize it.  This is kind of the hidden way that they control your case.

0:22 It is by sending you to a company-chosen doctor.  There are three reasons why this is critically bad for your case under most circumstances.

The Company Doctor Will Likely be Biased

0:31 The first is that most companies are going to have a long-standing relationship with the doctor that they pick for you and that they make you go see after your maritime injury.  This relationship usually goes back years.  Sometimes it’s dozens or even hundreds of other employees who have seen that same doctor and the doctor has a very close and very good relationship with your company.

0:52 What this means is behind the scenes your company representatives are probably talking to the doctor about your condition.  They’re sort of collaborating and deciding do we need more testing done, can we wait on the testing.

1:06 I don’t want to go see a doctor like that personally myself.  I want to go see a doctor who’s neutral, who’s very impartial, he’s going to be treating me, he’s not going to be worried about what some company is thinking or saying to him over here.  Frankly, I don’t even want my doctor to be meeting with or talking to my company.  I want him to be looking directly at me, treating me and only worried about my treatment.

1:26 So you’ve got to watch out for the long-standing relationship that your company probably has with a company-chosen doctor.

Company Doctor Won’t Recommend Complete Testing

1:33 Second very important point is that most company-chosen doctors are going to be very slow to recommend aggressive testing for you.

1:41 This is testing such as an MRI or CT scan or even nerve conduction study.  Sometimes it’s a diagnostic tool like an epidural injection.  These are steroid injections that doctors will give in your neck or your back and if you get relief a lot of times that’s an indication the doctor may benefit from a surgery.

2:02 While most company doctors are going to be very slow to recommend all that because if you think about it what they’re doing is they’re basically asking your company to pay for testing that is going to show how bad your maritime injury is and how much more treatment you may need that your company’s going to have to pay for.

2:22 So, the last thing your company wants is for a whole bunch of testing to be done that shows that you’ve got a bad condition, you need treatment and you could possibly get it fixed better because that means months and months of more bills that your company’s going to pay to that doctor.  So again the second point is most company doctors are very slow to recommend serious testing.

You Run the Risk of Worsening Your Injury

2:43 Quick story here.  There are so many people who come into our office after seeing a company doctor for months and months, sometimes 6 months, 9 months and they’ve never even had an MRI done on their back or neck or whatever part of their body’s been injured.  We readily step up, we pay for those and it is amazing how many MRIs come back that we get done for our clients that show serious problems. All of that should have been done months earlier by the company doctor who should have recommended immediately and he didn’t, he dragged his feet and it puts your case at risk and frankly it puts our health at more risk because months and months were going by without you figuring out what was going on with your back or your neck or your knees or your shoulders.

Medical Releases May Do More Harm than Good

3:24 The third very important point about not going to see the company doctor is a lot of times the company doctor will release you with the idea of let’s go ahead and try to get you back to work and see how you do. And sometimes this sounds like a good thing and a lot of career guys I understand this fully.

3:43 We have clients come in, these are career maritime workers, they want to get back out there as quick as they can, they’re worried about their future, and they talk the doctor a lot of times into releasing them or they’ll agree with the doctor a lot of times and say sure, sure, put me back out there.  Let me see what I can do.

3:59 Well, the quick third point here is that once the company doctor releases you and he gives you a release in writing and you go back out to the rig or the tugboat or the barge and you keep working, it is incredibly hard to get your company to step and pay for more treatment down the road.

A Medical Release Means No More Treatment

4:16 Usually, your company stands up and says we got this release here, you’ve been released, this doctor (that we picked) this doctor says you don’t need any more treatment, therefore, we don’t have to authorize any more treatment for you.

Recap

4:29 So those are three quick points that tell you why your company is going to usually step up, try to control your medical treatment and you’ve got to be aware of those things and you’ve got to ask yourself are they trying to control my case by sending me to their doctor.

4:43 My strong suggestion and the solution to all this is: always pick your own doctor, insist that your company for a doctor you pick, somebody they don’t control ideally somebody they don’t even know about and they don’t have a relationship with and you just give them the name, send it to them in writing and say I want to see this doctor for my treatment.

5:02 Call us if you have any questions at all.  Getting your medical treatment after your maritime injury is very important and you want to handle it correctly.